Mount Sinai Doctors Among the Best in New York

The Mount Sinai Health System was highly represented in New York magazine’s recently released list of “Best Doctors in New York,” which named 227 physicians from all seven hospitals and 36 doctors from Mount Sinai’s affiliated hospitals. The 263 physicians represented 21 percent of the total 1,251 doctors on New York magazine’s 2014 list, which appeared online and in the June 9-15, 2014 print edition. The list covers physicians from throughout the New York metropolitan region, including Connecticut and New Jersey.

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Choosing Wisely: Technology to help you make a list of questions to ask your doctor

To get the most benefit out of a visit to your doctor, you should prepare beforehand! It really pays off to write down your questions in advance. Now there are resources available to help you get ready.

In my campaign to encourage patients to talk openly to their physicians I came across CHOOSING WISELY.

“Choosing Wisely is focused on encouraging physicians, patients and other health care stakeholders to think and talk about medical tests and procedures that may be unnecessary, and in some instances can cause harm.”

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“..You can prevent a medical error by simply asking the right questions”

A recent ivillage.com article offered some advice on what to do and not do to when getting started with a physician.

“The doctor should ask thorough questions but the patient needs to be honest and not withhold information, even if it’s embarrassing or hard to talk about. Know your – and your family’s – medical history and bring in any medications you are taking, even if you think they are unrelated. If the doctor doesn’t have all the information, the likelihood of a misdiagnosis increases.

Don’t be shy: Whether it’s voicing concerns or mentioning tests you’ve read about or asking about drug interactions, patients need to speak up. It’s ok to do your own homework, just don’t get too caught up in self-diagnosing online before your appointment …”

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Drug Interactions – Check for yourself & before you go to the doctor?

If you have a really good PCP, she or he will monitor all the prescriptions you take as well as any over-the-counter (OTC) vitamins and supplements you use.

But we have all heard about family members and friends who have been affected by adverse drug interactions.

This may occur because: you go to several physicians who each give you prescriptions; a prescription is changed; you buy and use OTC products; and/or you do not read the warnings on the prescription.

REMINDER: Always bring a list of all your prescriptions and OTC products to every doctor’s visit.

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Should you check your symptoms before your doctor’s appointment?

If you are like me, you may occasionally “Google” your medical symptoms. Now apps are available to help you check your symptoms systematically rather than randomly.

Recently, a WSJ article noted “Now more health-care providers are… steering patients to new and improved computerized symptom-checkers that make it easier for them to get reliable information about possible diagnoses, research their condition and even connect directly to a doctor. Doctors are adding these tools to their websites and incorporating them into electronic medical records, encouraging patients to use them before office visits to save time and make consultations more productive. Another benefit: Results turned up by a symptom-checker may actually help doctors think of something they hadn’t considered.”

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Tell your doctor about your travel history

A recent Modern Health Care article noted “The key is getting that travel history right up front when you’re interviewing the patient and then as soon as you suspect MERS—even before you do the testing—you should make sure you have that patient on isolation precautions so they don’t spread to any other patients or healthcare workers.”

“The major lesson from this first MERs experience in the U.S. for other healthcare providers is “to think about MERS you really need to get a good travel history..,”.

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Often “primary care doctors’ appointments to be scheduled at 15-minute intervals”

“Some physicians who work for hospitals say they’ve been asked to see patients every 11 minutes.”

A recent Kaiser Health News article noted “ Patients – and physicians – say they feel the time crunch as never before as doctors rush through appointments as if on roller skates to see more patients and perform more procedures to make up for flat or declining reimbursements.” “

“Doctors have one eye on the patient and one eye on the clock….”

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Be prepared with the questions you want to ask your doctor & make sure you understand the answers before you leave

The federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has published lists of questions you should consider before, during and after an appointment with your doctor.

“You can make sure you get the best possible care by being an active member of your health care team. Being involved means being prepared and asking questions. Asking questions about your diagnoses, treatments, and medicines can improve the quality, safety, and effectiveness of your health care. Taking steps before your medical appointments will help you to make the most of your time with your doctor and health care team.”

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